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Dovizioso pleased with Sepang II start

"I made two laps behind Dani [Pedrosa] and it is always interesting to follow a faster rider to get the right feedback. The main problem is the turning" - Andrea Dovizioso.
New Ducati signing Andrea Dovizioso reduced the gap to the top of the MotoGP timesheets from 2.177s, after a tough debut test at Sepang, to 1.221s at the start of this week's Malaysian return.

Lap times were slower than at the first test - and afternoon rain brought an early end to the Tuesday action - but Dovizioso felt progress had been made technically and in terms of his own riding style.

“I'm pretty satisfied,” he said. “From the beginning, with the bike the same as when we finished the first test, I had a little bit better feeling just because of more time on the bike.”

The former Honda and Yamaha rider then tried some weight distribution changes.

“We had something to try. Nothing special because we don't have time to make something big between these tests. But we compared two bikes with different fuel tanks - different weight distribution,” he explained. “This worked and that was a good feeling.”

Despite the slower pace and early end, Dovizioso felt the 1.2s margin to former Repsol Honda team-mate Dani Pedrosa was a fair figure.

“The condition of the track was slower than last time, but it is the same for everybody, so I think the gap is realistic,” he said. “Also I used just one set of tyres and to do that lap time at the end [lap 16 of 22], after the tyre had dropped. I am quite happy.”

But Dovizioso is under no illusions as to the work still ahead, especially after getting the chance to follow Pedrosa's RC213V.

“Still the gap is quite big. I made two laps behind Dani and it is always interesting to follow a faster rider to get the right feedback. The main problem is the turning,” he said.

“The bike wants to go straight, so when you want to turn you have to pull and you put the tyre and bike over the limit. Then on the exit you also have many problems, but this is a consequence of the bike not wanting to turn.”

Dovizioso's pace was good enough for eighth place, one position and 0.342s ahead of team-mate Nicky Hayden.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Dovizioso, Sepang 1 tests, February 2013
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Pol Espargaro at Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
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Smith, Espargaro, Nakasuga ready for Suzuka 8 Hours (pic: Yamaha)
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Dani Pedrosa tests 2016 Honda (pic: Honda).
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The Bad Guy - Unregistered

February 27, 2013 12:50 PM

Ducati's biggest mistake was not making changes to the bike while they had a rider who was in his Prime..Casey Stoner. Stoner also was his own worst enemy because of his ability to win on the Desmo and ride around the problems.Audi made changes in the engineering /management of the race team for one reason,to speed up upgrades and listen to Rider input instead a having a Engineer who thinks he knows what the bike needs more then the person riding it. The bad part is Yamaha and Honda are very fast so to close the gap will not be easy..But with Suzuki returning they will not be alone in this task.

DJ from TJ - Unregistered

February 27, 2013 5:35 AM

@Realist. Dude this is not a popularity contest here, so don't get all butthurt because of dislikes, not everybody here has to agree with anyone that's the beauty of it. Second, many are putting the blame on Rossi for Ducati's misfortunes but reality is that Ducati being so stubborn failed to capitalize on two of the greatest riders ever (Stoner and Rossi) whatever order you might wanna put them in. Another point I wanna add is that Ducati is under new management and can very well start listening to its riders and be more prone to changes. Dovi might not be the fastest guy out there but, he is one of the most technichally inclined pilots in the series if not the world, so don't be surprised if coming next year the Duc comes out swinging with Dovi and Hayden.

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